People walking in Portitxol, Palma, Mallorca

Social gatherings are still limited to six people.

10-05-2021Miquel A. Cañellas

Covid restrictions in the Balearics are pretty much the toughest in the country despite the incidence rate being the second lowest behind Valencia. The ending of the state of alarm has resulted in a divergence of measures adopted by regional governments, one of the most permissive of which is Asturias.

The 14-day incidence per 100,000 in Asturias is 111.7 compared with 60.4 in the Balearics, yet bar and restaurant interiors are open and the closing time is 1am. The interiors are not open in the Balearics and 10.30pm is the closing time. In Madrid, where interiors have not been closed and establishments can stay open until midnight, the incidence is 317.56.

The Basque Country has the highest incidence - it is 447.56. Hospitality has to shut at 10pm, but there is no curfew or limitation on social gatherings, as the High Court in that region has ruled against these measures, which is in contrast to the Balearic High Court.

The High Court in the Canaries has taken the same view as the Basque court. There are in fact only three regions with a curfew - the start time in Navarre is the same as in the Balearics, 11pm, while it is midnight in Valencia. The situation in Navarre is closest to that of the Balearics. Terraces have to close a little earlier - 10pm - but interiors are open.

As to limitations on social gatherings, six other regions have the same limitation as the Balearics - six people. These are Aragon, Catalonia, Galicia, La Rioja, Murcia and Navarre. In Castile-La Mancha and Valencia the number is ten; there are no limitations in other regions.

Based on national ministry of health criteria, the current risk level in the Balearics is one. Yet the restrictions go further than regions which are at four - Aragon, the Basque Country, Catalonia, La Rioja and Madrid. Four other regions are level one - Extremadura, Galicia, Murcia and Valencia.

The Balearic government is meanwhile waiting to see if the Prosecutor's Office appeals the Balearic High Court's decision to endorse the curfew. It may be that the rulings by the courts in the Basque Country and the Canaries give more substance to a Prosecutor's Office appeal - which would be to the Supreme Court in Madrid.

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